Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gotta Travel On

FINALLY... we got our itinerary Saturday evening. PHEW... I was really starting to get nervous... looks like we will be seeing lots of Parks while we are in Changsha. I also realize our agency is clueless about discount flying! They are charging us $210 per person to go from the Hunan Province to Guangzhou. I found flights online for $80 a piece... but the rest of the itinerary isn't too bad... I sure am glad I booked my own hotel in Guangzhou...

I have SO much to get done before we leave... only 8 more days!!! after I wake up today I'm going to pack all the things I plan on taking... I know I will unpack and repack a few times before we actually go, but I need to get started now so I can clear it all off the floor of the nursery! Then I'm going to paint the ceiling in there. I'm just going to paint the sky and leave the clouds for when we get home. At least then Charlie can put up the ceiling fan while we are gone. I also have a TON of cleaning/organizing/etc to get done. I started doing some of it Saturday afternoon when I should have been sleeping.. :-)
This weekend I am going to test out Skype with Marla... then on Tuesday after dad does my hair I'll show mom how to use it. I'm also bringing her a headset with a mic attached. Not sure if she'll use it since dad will want to be in on the calls too, but just in case it's too hard to hear without it, I want them to be prepared!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Could We Start Again Please

This was really a horrible night. On my way to work, I saw a little kitten that looked injured trying to climb up onto the sidewalk. It was on a side road I almost never turn down. I stopped to see if it was ok. The poor thing had apparently been hit by a car. It was in terrible shape, and was crying so loud. My heart was breaking. I called the emergency vet's office and they refused to see it unless I would take financial responsibility for it. Then I called animal control and they said it would take at least 45 mins to an hour to get there... in the meantime, this poor thing was in agony. A couple of Sheriff's Deputies came by and told me there was another ER vet in North Ft Myers. They gave me some rubber gloves, and I picked up the kitty and put it in a box and rushed it to the vet. I knew what the outcome would be, but I had to put it out of its misery. The NFM vet was wonderful. They took the poor little thing and put it to sleep, and never asked me for a dime. It's spine was broken so they said it was probably crying out from fear and shock, not from pain because it probably was paralyzed from the accident. But it was also covered in fire ants, so it was probably getting bitten on top of everything else it was going thru. I was absolutely heartbroken. It was such a sweet little kitty. I kept petting it while waiting to hear from animal control and it was actually purring, despite it's injuries. I really think G-d meant for me to be there to help this little baby. But it was SO hard to see. At least it's not in any more pain. I wish people would take responsibility for their pets! This should have never happened if the owners would have kept this little thing in the house!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

They're Coming to Take Me Away, HaHa

So in case there was ever any doubt, I have now convinced myself I'm a blithering idiot... I woke up after just 2 hrs of sleep to realize that I had never actually purchased our airline tickets from here to NJ or NJ to home... I guess with all the searching for Hong Kong flights and trying to get all our other things straight, I just totally blanked on that minor detail!! Thank goodness I realized it in time... So I just booked our flights to and from NJ.... I'm really losin it! LOL... Ok... time for me to go sleepies... maybe that's my problem... yeah, probably not.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Running Down a Dream

Well, I managed to get another OT day... probably the last one ever... I can't believe we leave in less than 2 weeks... but I'm really freaking out since our wonderful agency has YET to provide us with any of the details for our in-China travel!!! So as it stands right now, I have my tickets from the US to Hong Kong, and from Hong Kong to Changsha. I booked my own hotel in Guanzhou, so at least I know we will have somewhere to sleep during the 2ND half of our trip... but what we are missing is the hotel in Changsha (supposed to be the Dolton if they ever reserve it for us) and the flight from Changsha to Guangzhou and from Guangzhou to Hong Kong... and so naturally, we recieved an email from the agency that our travel advisor is taking tomorrow off! Isn't that special... yes, I am getting a bit... uh... bitchy?? it's just so frustrating not knowing what's going on!!! I know I've said it before, but I sure do miss the girls on the referral team... I just hate the fact that I feel like we have to chase them down to get any info. If they don't give us anything by the end of the week, I'm gonna book my own! (They keep telling us we are not allowed to do this. They have to book our in-China stuff... why? so they can make $$ from it, I'm guessing... )

Monday, August 25, 2008

On the Road Again...

So today was my running around day. Started out really nice. Met another adoptive mom today and we had lunch - we had been emailing for a few weeks now, and finally got to meet in person. What a nice afternoon it was...
Then after lunch, I hit Home Depot and bought the paint to do Rachel's ceiling. Since Z's trip was canceled, I'm going to make an attempt to do it myself.. (GULP)
after home depot, it was off to the bank to order the new money to take on the trip. Still pissed that GW won't wire the money for the donation over. but there is nothing I can do about it. Other than make sure everyone thinking about what agency to use in the future will know about how much things changed after we got our referral.
anyway, after that I ran to Publix to see what they would charge for the prescriptions we got from the pediatrician.. HOLY COW... no way would I go there for a script! I'm gonna check Sam's club tomorrow...
Finally hope and the satellite is apparently out... gave me a good excuse to write here quick and maybe start inputting some of the recipes I am trying to clear out of the box. I have been movingn all my recipes onto the computer. There are a few that I use a lot, so I'll keep those in the box, as well as the little recipe cards that are MEANT to be in a box... but all the recipes cut out of magazines or the paper.... or scribbled on little scraps.... those are the ones I'm going to get rid of!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where is Felix Unger when I need Him?

I have been cleaning most of the day already, and I don't think I've done more than the kitchen!!! Just scrubbing down everything I can, including under the microwave... I found 4 mini marshmallows under there... I don't think I've used them since last Thanksgiving! how did they get under the microwave?
Tommy is outside FINALLY clearing out the veggie garden. I want to get some of my winter crops in before we leave for China. I'd rather get them in a little early than late like last year... My brocolli didn't do nearly as well and this year I'm gonna try snow peas and maybe parsnips. hopefully the cabbage will do lots better this year too..
Yesterday my girlfriend notarized the Immunization form we have to take to China. So naturally, as I'm walking in the house juggling everything in my hands, including the forms and my breakfast leftovers, Penny jumps up at me, almost knocked me to the ground, dumped everything out of my hands INCLUDING the leftovers and the newly notarized forms... which naturally landed UNDER the leftovers... Needless to say, they are no unusable... So, waiting to hear back from my friend Rita to see when I can meet her so she can notarize ANOTHER copy of the stupid form.... what joy, what fun.... LOL

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Tommy

What a nice evening we had. It was Tommy's birthday and we decided to go all out and have a nice dinner. Margie & Charlie joined us, and so did Mom & Dad... it was wonderful. We went to Red's, which has become our new favorite place for special ocassion meals. (Way more expensive than we are used to, but really worth every penny)
Then we went back to my parents house for coffee & birthday cake. It was just really pleasant! and thank goodness for Margie... she managed to fix mom's camera, when I was ready to toss it in the trash!!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

People and other Aggravations

ok, maybe I'm just being... well... I don't know how to say it without cussing... so anyway... I had gotten a couple of emails from other families that have already been and that currently ARE in China picking up their daughters from the same orphanage that we are going to. They are all advising that their agencies were able to send the orphanage donation as a wire transfer and that the total was the same as it has always been - $3000. Well OUR wonderful agency is advising that they can't do the wire transfer anymore because the fees keep changing... HUH???? I'm probably going to be SO in trouble but I wrote a little email back to our advisor... ok, so it was probably a little snottier than it should have been... but it so irked me that yet again, we are not being treated like any kind of a priority... I always used to hate that whole "I pay your salary" mentality when it came to public service, but this is private industry, and gosh darn it I DO pay their salary... Oooo... I'm too angry... I shouldn't be writing this while steam is escaping my ears... but what the heck... years from now I'll want to remember why I would never recommend this agency to anyone! OY... another day... breathe deep...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

We Made it Through the Rain...

So Fay was just as I expected... just a strong rain storm... nothing major... just bad enough for Continental to totally mess up our plans for the week. I can not believe they cancel a flight and don't make any provisions for the passengers. Totally obnoxious. We are still hoping she can get here, but boy, they sure don't do anything to help.
And the reality is, they could have just delayed the flights instead of canceling. It was really not that bad at all...

How to Blow a Vacation

So Tropical Storm Fay is projected to be nothing major here... but it sure has screwed up our lives, just the same! Continental Airlines decided to cancel Z's flight down here... ok, we can understand that... sort of... I think they could have waited until they had more of an update and they would have seen that it is not going to be anything major... but ok... so they canceled... fine... BUT.... They did NOT make any arrangements to handle all the people who will now have no flight in to Ft Myers... they basically told her she could upgrade and pay for a 1st class ticket or just get a refund on her flight. They are NOT going to arrange for another flight! So she tried to book something on another day... yeah... well... the first available flight is next week!!! THIS STINKS... I can't believe they are not going to schedule a different flight down here!!!
Well I called and pitched a fit... finally got a supervisor on the phone... long & short is, they will put her on a flight on Friday but it changes over in Tampa... ok, not the ideal "non-stop" but at least it will get her here... and she can stay until the following Thursday.. better than nothing... but now she has to find out if they will let her have off from work next week instead of this week.. what a pain in the A%%
On a lighter note, went to Gaige's birthday party at Chucky Cheese tonite... it was crazy... I think everyone had fun...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fay Fay Go Away...

So today our friend Charlie took down the ceiling fan from the nursery and put it up in the guest room. Now I'll have to go pick up a new fan for Rachel's room. Charlie will put that one up while we are in China. The rest of the day, we watched the weather channel... Tropical Storm Fay is supposed to arrive here Tuesday morning... perfect time... since Zulema is supposed to arrive here Tuesday afternoon!!! Plus they are gearing up at work to move us to "alpha/bravo" shift. that means working from 6pm to 6am every day no days off... until whenever... what a wonderful way to spend Z's vacation... I sure hope Fay just turns out to be a big rain... and it moves on quick... and the sun comes out so Z can enjoy her vacation...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Up Up & Away....

We are BOOKED... we have our flights to China. I am SOOO excited... and I even got to use frequent flyer miles for an extra seat both ways... Rachel will have her own seat coming home and we will have a little extra wiggle room going there... and you know when she is older and I need a good guilt trip I will have to tell her how her mom was even willing to do the unthinkable... we are taking a PUDDLE JUMPER from here to Miami because that was the only way I could get the connecting flight in NJ to Hong Kong without staying overnight in the airport!!! Those who know me know... I HATE to fly.. and a puddle jumper? well needless to say, I will be VERY heavily sedated for that part of the trip... glad it is on the way there when she will not be with us!!!!
On a sad note, Marla decided not to come with us to China... I am totally bummed about it, but I understand her reasons... its way too hot there for her (heat index around 113° daily) plus we are now going to be there a total of 18 days instead of the original 14 (not even going to go there... long story) so she thinks its best she not go... BUT... she will be here for the shower and maybe a few days early.. so that will be VERY cool...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes...

Well, I got some terrific news tonite... All of our travel mates will be traveling with us after all... WOOHOO... I'm so excited... It was so hard to be happy for us when we were also feeling so bad for them... but the woman from our agency worked late to work it all out... I think they realized it was their goof up that was messing things up... so they got it all taken care of and both families that were being left out are now back in... We will all meet in China in less than a month!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Long & Winding Road....

I can't believe it.. but it is finally happening! We GOT OUR CA!!!! it only took FOREVER... and unfortunately, it came too late for 2 of the families in our travel group. Great Wall TOTALLY dropped the ball on this one... we are just praying that somehow, someway, GW will make this right.. We want to be together with all the rest of our "twentythirders" group...

Anyway, here is our info as we received it from the agency:
Tentative group travel schedule:

Depart U.S. on September 08, 2008
Arrive in China and overnight in major city such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guangzhou etc. September 09, 2008 (This arrival city will depend on best price for international flight for you or city of your choice to have overnight before flying into your child's province.)
Fly to your province on the morning of September 10, 2008 (Delight Travel will make this booking for all families.)
**Meet Child on September 11, 2008 (upon confirmation with the Beijing office)
Pick up child's passport on September 18, 2008 (upon confirmation with the Beijing office)
Arrive in Guangzhou: September 19, 2008 (upon confirmation with the Beijing office)
American Consulate appointment- September 23, 2008
Family goes to AC to pick up child's passport with visa and take oath – afternoon –September 24, 2008
Earliest you can depart China-- after 9pm, September 24, 2008 (If you are flying China Southern nonstop directly out of Guangzhou to L.A.; please note
the consulate suggests allowing at least 24 hours to depart in case of delays) or anytime September 25, 2008
(If you are flying out of Hong Kong to travel back to the states, then your Hong Kong flight cannot be departing Hong Kong until 11:35am or after on September 25, 2008) NOTE: There are no flights that depart late from Guangzhou to Hong Kong on day you receive your child’s passport with visa.

thats it for now... going to sleep for a while... if I can..

No Cute Words...

Yet another day has come and gone. Still no word on our CA. Needless to say I'm really REALLY upset. I told the rest of my Chen Chen girls... it feels like our kids are being held hostage. and we are getting nothing from our agency. They are not responding to our emails, and we have had no word about what the hold up is... I really don't know how much more of this I can take. I am literally in pain.
Diane from my Chen Chen group is going to call the agency in the morning... hopefully she will get some kind of answer... It hit me today... they work for us and yet we are terrified to contact them. We are all afraid that if we make waves, something else will happen to slow us down... How pathetic is this?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday, Bloody Sunday...

I actually managed to get all the onesies tye dyed today. I'm making them for our travel group. We are going to put all our babies in their tye dye onesies and take a group picture while we are in Changsha... I'll bet it will be a cute shot!

I have also been watching the Olympics. I am still disappointed that we are not going to Beijing, but with all the craziness over there, I'm not as upset as I was before.
I'm hoping that tomorrow will finally bring our CA's... we have waited so long... and all we need now is a date... WHEN DO WE GET TO LEAVE?????

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Another Newsless Day

So I spent the better part of the day cleaning out Fred's tank... what joy, what fun... and every break I took, I checked email to see if I heard from the agency. Nada... at the very least, I thought I would have heard something about the email I sent advising that we want to stay at the Victory instead of the White Swan! I know they don't like making alternate arrangements (which is fine, because honestly, I think I can handle that myself if they would let me) but I was really hoping today would be the day to get our CA... oh well... I'm not giving up hope! There is always tomorrow...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Hip Hip Hooray... we got TA's

Got an email tonite that TA's have finally arrived for our group. Except for the 2 people traveling to the new orphanage... they didn't get theirs yet... but the rest of us FINALLY did...
We still don't have a consulate appointment, so we still have no clue when we will be going... but they are saying we should travel between 8/29 and the middle of Sept. I'm still liking the end of August... but they said it would take between 3 and 10 days to get our consulate appointment.. we can't book flights until we know what that date is... we have to back track 2 weeks from that date for our flights.

It's Been a LONG day

Well, today the woman came to pick up the bird cage and perch... one less thing in the garage! YEAH! I then spent all day getting the guest room ready for Z's visit and working on packing for the trip... I have to get that room ready for Z to have easy access to paint!
Then we went to the Chinese Buffet for dinner... It was yummy as usual. The waiter was telling us how special it is that our daughter is from Changsha. He seemed so excited for us. It was really cool. He also wanted to be sure we knew that it was the birthplace of Mao Tse Tung... (sp?). He said it was the center of Chinese History. Everyone came over to congradulate us about the referral. Mom & Dad already showed all of them the pictures... they all said it was cute how excited they both are. Now it's almost 3am and I'm heading for bed.

Our Story

My photo
We are the proud parents of a beautiful little girl. I have not stopped smiling since the moment they placed her in my arms. We adopted her Sept 2008 and it's been nothing but wonderful! She is the best reason to open my eyes every day! Currently living in SW Florida. I've also become a MAJOR Twilight junkie, so now I'm told I'm a TWI-MOM & I LOVE it!

Our Daughter Rachel MeiLi

Our Daughter Rachel MeiLi
Rachel MeiLi

Red Thread Legend

Red Thread Legend
Chinese Red Thread Legend


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